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Back in February, Google introduced Sound Amplifier and Live Transcribe for Android. An upcoming update to the latter app next month will let users see non-speech sound events, like clapping and music, as well as transcripts.

At the moment, Live Transcribe is solely focussed on capturing real-time speech and letting users read what people around them are saying. This tool leverages your device’s microphones, speech recognition, and on-device machine learning. In the future, the app will also recognize and transcribe non-speech audio cues like clapping, laughter, music, applause, and the sound of vehicles passing by.

You can see, for example, when a dog is barking or when someone is knocking on your door. Seeing sound events allows you to be more immersed in the non-conversation realm of audio and helps you understand what is happening in the world.

This helps deliver important context about what is occurring in the world, and will be highlighted at the bottom of the screen. Another feature in this Android Live Transcribe update is the ability to save and copy transcripts. These records will be stored locally on your device and saved for three days.

This is useful not only for those with deafness or hearing loss—it also helps those who might be using real-time transcriptions in other ways, such as those learning a language for the first time or even, secondarily, journalists capturing interviews or students taking lecture notes.

Android Live Transcribe update

Additionally, the audio visualization indicator in the top-right corner that notes background activity is now physically larger and more promiment. This Android Live Transcribe update with tweaks and new features will be available next month on the Play Store.

Google pre-announced them as part of Global Accessibility Awareness Day. The Assistant team also published a video series helping accessibility users set up Home, Chromecast, and other smart devices.

Update 6/3: Version 2.0 of Live Transcribe is now rolling out via the Play Store with the full changelog below:

  • See when a dog is barking or when someone is knocking on your door. Visualizing sound events helps immerse you in the non-conversation realm of audio
  • Save history up to 3 days to refer back to recent conversations
  • Swipe up to clear current conversations
  • Copy and paste transcripts

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